WEND: the Stour from source to sea
11 June - 9 July 2022
I've spent the past few years seeing the woods for their trees, as ash and oak - and the wildlife dependent on them - has been my artistic focus. Lately, the luminous quality of the River Stour has drawn my eye. 'WEND: the Stour from source to sea' is a series of paintings celebrating its magnificent 60-mile journey to the English Channel. Capturing its watery reflections is proving an exciting and uplifting challenge, while spotting otters and kingfishers along its banks has been an added bonus.
I've visited its source, only then registering why the wonderful Stourhead estate is so named, it marks the spot where the river starts. As it wends through Dorset, many villages are named in its honour: West Stour, Stourpaine, Stourton, Stour Provost, Sturminster Newton, illustrating how our ancestors instinctively appreciated its vital role in their lives, and still does in ours.
I'm painting its twisting course as it falls 750ft from its Wiltshire birthplace to Christchurch Harbour, showcasing its beauty, its environmental importance and, sadly, how we're not looking after it as we should.